How much of the Trump speech will we remember?

Back in the 2000 debates, I recall then-Governor Bush taking a very cautious approach toward intervention and nation building:

If we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road, and I'm going to prevent that.

Well then 9/11 happened and everything from the 2000 debates and speeches were thrown out the window.   

Also, one had to see Saddam Hussein's WMDs in a different context, as most Democrats reminded us when they enthusiastically voted for the Iraq War.

Yesterday, Mr. Trump delivered a good speech that should please a lot of voters who feel that the U.S. needs to look out for its interests rather than those of others.     

I agree with the NY Post that voters will like it:

He started by identifying the key problems: Too few resources, with a weakened military and a weakened US economy. Allies who aren’t stepping up — in part because they no longer trust Washington to have their backs.

Enemies who don’t fear us, and rivals who don’t respect us.

Above all, “America no longer has a clear understanding of our foreign-policy goals.” And we haven’t since the end of the Cold War.

Mr. Trump will get good reviews but time will tell whether we will or not remember what he said.

On nation building, I agree that we shouldn't intervene unless there is a national interest.   

Well, I think that there was a national interest in Iraq and the "nation building" worked rather well until President Obama pulled the plug for political reasons.

As for NATO countries, it's fair to say that many are not paying their way. My guess is that every president from Truman to GW Bush has told our NATO allies that they should do more. At the same time, having a military presence in Europe was in our national interest as a check to the USSR. It may not be anymore and Mr. Trump may be right in seeking a different direction.   

Mr. Trump wants to destroy ISIS quickly and come home.    

However, leading is more than dropping bombs and coming home.    

We would have lost Korea and Germany if we had not done some nation building in the past.   

We often have to stay around to make sure that our gains are preserved. We did in Korea and Europe. We didn't in Vietnam and Iraq. The first two are success stories of "nation building" but the last two are not. It was not the nation building that failed but U.S. weakness.     

Mr. Trump will remember, or be reminded of, what he said. It depends on what lies ahead and no one has a clue of what that will be.   

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